Is Semen Good for Your Skin? The DL on the Sexy Beauty Hack
Spit, swallow — or topical application?
This might not be the exact phrasing you use to share your climaxing do’s and don’ts with your partner. But, with celebrity facialists touting the perks of sperm and money shots in porn promoting their own kind of facial, you may wonder: Is semen good for your skin? It wouldn’t be the weirdest beauty secret out there. (Hello, placenta and snail mucus.)
Which raises the seminal question: Can your dick appointment double as a skincare session? Before you cancel that deep tissue face massage and toss out your hyaluronic acid serum, let’s explore the science behind the sperm.
Getting to the bottom of it: Is sperm good for skin?
Have you ever seen someone with glowing skin and thought to yourself: “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s someone’s seed?” That might just be us. In any case, semen's potential in experimental skincare goes beyond brunch conversation. Applying cum on your face sparks debates in beauty circles in and out of the queer community.
The hype started with a 2019 Daily Mail article featuring Chelsee Lewis, a London-based facialist with clients like Stella McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow. Beyond her more orthodox skincare tips like ice treatments to firm skin or oil pulling for acne, Lewis suggested applying your partner’s ejaculate like a face mask. Now that’s some next-level sperm play.
Pulling out and nutting on your partner is a fun way to spice up a BJ or intercourse. Likewise, milking his penis or engaging in prostate play with a sex toy and rubbing the ensuing load on your face adds extra kink to masturbation. But will it have similar effects to a facial? Let’s get to the bottom of skincare breakthroughs and bedroom myths:
1. Does cum clear up pimples?
Semen as an acne remedy is a common topic in online acne forums and skincare TikTok. But is it just an attempt to go viral between GRWM streetwear outfit reels and Drag Race memes?
The pimple-curing belief likely stems from the presence of spermine in semen. Spermine has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties — thought to be effective against acne. Yet, there’s no scientific evidence to support the claim that cum cures pimples.
If you struggle with acne, you may be tempted to try anything you can wrap your hands around. But over-the-counter products, like salicylic acid serums or specially designed face masks, are probably more reliable.
2. A load a day keeps the doctor away
That after-sex glow nearly guarantees you’ll look fresh and rejuvenated, but it might be more than a change in attitude. Spermine’s bestie, spermidine (also found in baby batter), has antioxidant properties that are rumored to reduce fine lines and signs of aging. But it may not be the endless well of youth you’re looking for.
Some studies suggest spermidine can slow aging in cells when injected directly. However, the impacts of topical application lack evidence. If you’re looking to proactively target or reduce crow’s feet, dull skin, or hyperpigmentation, you’re better off banking on time-tested products that protect, moisturize, and hydrate your skin. Try serums, creams, and sunscreen.
3. Semen is full of protein
It’s true — semen is filled with hundreds of different proteins. But it isn’t exactly a protein-rich superfood like quinoa, chia seeds, or chicken breast. In numbers — 100 milliliters of semen contains about 5 grams of protein.
That sounds like a lot until you consider the average ejaculate is between 1.5 and 5 mL, and the average man needs about 55 grams of protein each day. Assuming you’re taking XL loads, you would need to guzzle around 220 to hit your daily macros. We hope you’ve got a lot of friends.
Skincare products’ proteins often come as peptides — amino acids that maintain firm, youthful skin. And they’re most effective when combined with other ingredients that support skin health.
Your best bet for promoting healthy skin with protein is a well-balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. A post-workout protein shake after doing some bedroom gymnastics wouldn’t hurt, either.
4. What about all the zinc?
Zinc is an essential mineral with anti-inflammatory properties used to prevent and treat acne, stimulate collagen production, and reduce wrinkles. But, semen contains only about 3% of the recommended daily allowance. While swallowing your partner’s cum doesn’t do you a disservice, zinc supplements, specialized skin treatments, or a balanced diet are more valuable sources of the mineral if you want glowing skin.
5. But it has urea, too
Urea is a compound your body naturally produces when breaking down proteins. Some of this is sweated out, where it hangs on the skin’s surface, playing a role in hydrating and exfoliating.
But similar to the other mineral properties of semen, there just isn’t enough urea in semen to make a dent in your skincare routine. According to the Journal of Andrology, there are about 45 milligrams per 100 milliliters of semen. Likewise, beauty products use synthetic urea to concentrate its exfoliation and hydrating properties. You’re better off investing in creams and lotions.
Always ask a professional
Social media, friends, and even partners are full of health tips. But when it comes to your body and wellbeing, always consult a medical professional. Ejaculation doesn’t have to be medicinal to be fun.
If you have specific goals to treat acne, combat aging, or improve your intake of vitamins and minerals, check with your dermatologist.
The goop’s no good: What happens if you leave sperm on your skin?
So, we’ve established that using semen as part of your skincare routine is a fantasy that should stay on the pages of Cosmopolitan. But could it have negative impacts on your skin? Here are some potential downsides of moisturizing with sperm:
1. Spread of STIs
Depending on the type of infection, semen can transmit sexually transmitted infections by passing through mucous membranes on the lips, nostrils, and eyes. STIs like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea can all be transmitted this way.
Your eyes are particularly at risk. Eye herpes can cause inflammation and vision loss. Although less severe, chlamydia conjunctivitis can cause burning, redness, and discharge.
Additionally, unprotected oral sex can spread chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, human papillomavirus, HIV, and trichomoniasis. The Centers for Disease Control explains that while the rate of transmission through oral sex is low, open sores on the genitals or mouth, poor oral hygiene, or exposure to pre-ejaculate or semen of someone with an STI can spread the disease.
Great sex is fun, comfortable, and safe. Before engaging in semen play, encourage open dialogue from your partners about their health status or whether they’re DDF. Likewise, always ask for consent and communicate openly with your partners about their preferences. This is the only way to ensure cum is a fun surprise, not an unexpected crossing of boundaries.
2. Allergic reactions
Although it’s rare, some people have allergies to the proteins found in semen. In extreme cases, exposure to semen can cause anaphylaxis, which can obstruct airways, encourage swelling and redness, or stimulate cardiac problems. Lighter symptoms may include itching, redness, and hives — the opposite of healthy skin.
Your skin is a complicated organ. Even laboratory-tested clinical treatments can cause irritation or allergic contact dermatitis if they don’t respond well to your skin type. Play it safe and consult your dermatology provider to ensure your skincare routine is healthy and beneficial.
It’s up to you and your partner to decide how to celebrate every Big O. Whether you choose to unload on their face or suck them dry, don’t base your decision on whether semen is good for your skin. It’s about having fun and giving in to the moment.
And if you’re looking for a partner to do some post-coital skincare routines with, you’ll find them on Grindr. Download the Grindr app, or browse hands-free with Grindr Web — the same Grindr you know and love, now available on your laptop or PC with no download required.